Oct. 6, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
GAME SCORES: Florida Sate 3, North Carolina 0 (30-23, 30-27, 30-21)
A sign of a good team is that it can win when it’s not at its best. Despite not playing its best match of the season, the Florida State volleyball team pulled through in crucial times late in each game to sweep North Carolina 3-0 (30-23, 30-27, 30-21) on Friday (October 6) at Tully McDaniel Court.
With the victory, Florida State improved to 11-4 overall, 5-1 in the ACC. Florida State has won all five home matches against North Carolina under Todd Kress. The Tar Heels dropped to 3-12, 1-5 in the league.
“We need to continue to improve in a number of different facets and we were a little flat tonight, but it’s always nice when you can win and not play your best and I thought that was tonight,” Kress said. “I thought Makini (Thompson) played well in critical situations and Jess (Skower) did good things.
Topping the team for the third match in a row was outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) with a match-high 14 kills and a .565 hitting percentage. Up next was fellow outside Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) at 11 while rookie Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M.) added nine and middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) chipped in with eight.
Florida State out-dug North Carolina 40-36 with more than half of them coming from libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) had 18 and defensive specialist Alex Plummer (Woodbury, Minn.) had a season-best 10. Setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) had 38 assists. FSU held a .300 (51-18-11) to .137 (33-19-102) advantage in hitting percentage.
“Alex Plummer played perhaps her best match as a Seminole, no doubt about it,” Kress noted. “She passed well, defended, we worked a lot with defensively at middle back this week and she did a great job.”
Four errors by the Seminoles allowed UNC to establish a 6-1 lead in game one, but the Tar Heels committed four errors of their own to allow FSU back in the match. A Griffin kill tied the match at seven then the senior gave FSU its first lead at 10-9 with an ace, but four-straight UNC aces gave it the lead back at 15-11.
UNC held a four-point advantage until 17-13 when Tomic served seven-straight points to swing the lead back to FSU’s favor 21-17. During the run, both Thompson and Griffin had a pair of kills. The Tar Heels would tie the match up at 22-22, but Skower had a trio of kills and a trio of aces to close out the game, 30-23. Griffin led the way with five kills, while Skower had four. FSU hit .367 (15-4-30) to UNC’s .033 (7-6-30), but North Carolina stayed in the match thanks to six aces.
A Tomic ace gave FSU it’s first lead in game two at 5-4, but after a BonSalle kill made it 8-7, a pair of errors and an UNC kill gave the visitors the lead back, 10-8. Florida State would forge ties at 15, 17 and 19 all, but each time Seminoles would commit a costly error that let the Tar Heels regain the lead. FSU tied the match at 22 and finally took over the lead, 23-22, thanks to a Tar Heel attacking error. Following a Thompson kill, another UNC attack miscue gave the Seminoles a two-point lead (25-23) they would expand to four (28-24) on a block by Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) and Skower. UNC would pull to within one (28-27), but BonSalle finished the match with a pair of kills to give FSU the 30-27 victory.
Thompson and BonSalle were the only two Seminoles to record more than two kills in the match as Thompson recorded a game-high seven winners, while BonSalle was next at five. FSU held the hitting advantage again .227 (18-8-44) to .167 (13-7-36), but errors in the service game hurt FSU as it committed five service miscues. UNC also held a 5-2 advantage in blocks.
“We have to get production out of a couple of our freshmen so if one is having a bad night, we’re going to get the other one out there,” Kress added. “It’s kind of been left side by committee this year and either Malorie (Wessel) or Jackie pick it up. Tonight it was Jackie’s night and hopefully we can get production out of at least one of them.”
Out of the locker room, Florida State used a 7-2 run that turned a one-point game into a 12-6 advantage on a Thompson ace. During the run, the junior added a pair of kills. UNC strung together a trio of kills to pull within two (14-12), but the Tar Heels were their own worst enemy as they committed two-straight errors to push the margin back to five (17-12). The lead would grow to as many as 12 (29-17) on an UNC attack error before the Seminoles closed out the match 30-21 on a Skower kill.
Thompson and Skower tied for the lead at five kills while BonSalle contributed four. Tomic had 10 kills and Weissing added six digs. FSU out-hit the Tar Heels .333 (18-6-36) to .171 (12-6-35) and the Seminoles limited their service errors to just one.
Florida State is back at Lucy McDaniel Court Saturday (October 7) evening when it plays host to NC State. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.